President Obama recently announced a new program to meet the challenges faced by young Americans seeking summer employment opportunities. The Summer Opportunity Project is a multi-agency effort in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association and other collaborators to provide support to communities. The Project aims to significantly increase the percentage of youth in evidence-based summer opportunity programs, decrease the percentage of youth experiencing violence over the summer, and—more broadly—make sure that young Americans have the support they need to get their first job. One of the program's key initiatives, Higher Achievement Centers, will be launched in Richmond.
Key Efforts in Support of the Project Include
Private Sector Commitments
LinkedIn Small and Medium Business Engagement Tool - LinkedIn will connect millions of small and medium sized business leaders with local and state organizations to help young people, including those who are not in school or working, access summer jobs in 72 cities.
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) Best Practice Network - NSLA is focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality summer opportunities for youth. NSLA will convene campaign communities multiple times per year, provide technical assistance, broker resources, generate public awareness through events like National Summer Learning Day on July 14, and advocate for supportive policies.
New Higher Achievement Centers - Higher Achievement, a year-round, multi-year academic mentoring program for underserved middle school students in the 5th-8th grade, commits to the following activities this summer to close the achievement gap in Baltimore, DC, Pittsburgh, and Richmond: open five new Achievement Centers that are funded by the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, connect high school alumni to professional internships, bring 1200+ middle school students on college visits, and begin updating summer curricula to more closely align to Common Core State Standards.
LRNG Platform and Playlists Available For All Cities - LRNG, an initiative of Collective Shift, is bringing together city leaders, businesses, schools, and community institutions such as libraries and museums to transform how young people access and experience learning, and the paths they can take to success. This summer, LRNG is offering to Summer Jobs programs across the country its national digital platform and a set of LRNG Playlists and Badges that connect young people to learning opportunities like Job Readiness, Financial Literacy, and Civic Tech.
Federal Agency Commitments
Summer Opportunity Federal Resource Guide - The guide will make it easier for local governments and non-profits to identify, navigate, and use Federal programs to support summer programming.
$15 Million from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to Help Youth Who Serve Their Communities Pay for College - CNCS has committed up to $15 million in existing Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards over the next three years to launch Summer Opportunity AmeriCorps. CNCS is collaborating with the National Summer Learning Association, other organizations, mayors, nonprofits, and other partners to develop service and service-learning projects that will enable up to 20,000 youth to gain new skills and earn money for college.
Department of Labor Summer Jobs and Beyond Grant Competition - The Department of Labor has launched a $20 million grant competition that will be awarded to approximately 10 communities for innovative approaches that provide young people with summer and year-round jobs and connect them to career pathways. The application process closes on March 25, 2016.
Summer Block Parties - This June, communities around the country will host summer block parties to engage youth, families, businesses, and community leaders around making this summer active, healthy, safe and productive.
Department of Education Summer Learning Portal - Through its 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, ED is launching a Summer Learning Portal with access to additional resources and tools to help design and implement effective summer learning programs. This forum includes creative ideas, such as aligning summer programming with resources and activities from the National Park Service to learn about the great outdoors, creating summer reading programs, visiting museums, and participating in summer community events.
Open eBooks - First Lady Michelle Obama recently launched the Open eBooks App, a passport to a world of learning and opportunity during summer and the school year for millions of America’s kids. The app will deliver more than $250 million of reading material to students who need it most.
Find out more about the President's Summer Opportunity Project.